In order to give you a general idea about the level of demand of each treks, we have created this difficult level system in order to help you decide on the perfect experience for you. This system is based on the following: number of daily hours on trail, terrain conditions, elevation difference and altitude. This scheme was made based on a person with average healthy physical condition and should be adjusted according to your experience and physical abilities.
The majority of our clients choose a 3-day expedition, where the aim is to adventure in the mountains and visit unique ecosystems in danger of extinction- while finding ourselves out of our comfort zone. We always recommend that our clients partake in regular exercise/training at least two or three months before the most demanding of outings. The fitter you are, the more you will enjoy the adventure before you!
LEVEL 1. RELAXED
Accessible for anyone with a good general state of health. Hikes from 1 to 4 hours, less than 5 kilometers (3 miles) on flat terrain with little or no change in the elevation of the terrain and an altitude of less than 1500 masl (≈5000ft).
Associated routes:Camino Nacional, Coffee Tour, Pijao
LEVEL 2. MODERATE
Ideal for first time mountaineers. Accessible for all those in good health, who do some exercise regularly and who are accustomed to walking for extended periods of time. Walks from 5 to 6 hours each day (with regular, short breaks), distances between 6 and 10 kilometers per day (≈4-6 miles) along mostly flat, sometimes muddy, undulating paths. The elevation change can exceed 500 meters (≈1,600 ft), with an altitude of 2,000+ meters (≈7,000+ ft) and with little weight to carry.
Associated routes:Cocora Valley,
LEVEL 3. CHALLENGING
For the physically active, with a spirit of adventure and who have some experience in traveling through mountainous terrain with a light backpack. Hikes from 6 to 7 hours a day, with distances between 10 and 14 kilometers (≈ 6-9 miles). The terrain is hilly, with steep slopes, irregular roads with mud and some sections without shade (direct sunlight). The elevation change is of minimum 1,000 meters and maximum 1,600 meters (≈2,000 – 5,200 feet), with a maximum altitude of 4,000 meters (≈13,000 feet).
Associated routes:Morro Gacho, Andes and their communities.
LEVEL 4. DEMANDING
Recommended for those with good physical condition and strength, who wish to have an challenging experience. It is preferable to have some experience in mountaineering. Hikes from 6 to 8 hours a day, with distances of 15-19 kilometers (≈9-12 miles). The terrain is hilly, with steep slopes, irregular roads with mud and some sections without shade (direct sunlight). The elevation change of up to 2,500 meters (≈8,000 ft), with an maximum altitude of 5,000 meters (≈16,000 ft). These routes often involve carrying your own luggage.
Associated routes: Between Palmas and Frailejones, Summit attempt of Paramillo del Quindío, Glacier border Nevado del Tolima
NIVEL 5. VERY DEMANDING
Only suitable for people physically and psychologically prepared for experiences of great effort and who want to go beyond their own limits. It is necessary to have previous experience in mountaineering. The activities can last more than 12 hours a day, with distances of up to 19 kilometers (≈12 miles) and a change in elevation of 2,800 meters (≈9,000ft). The terrain is rugged, with steep slopes, irregular roads or even without a path (exploratory), some sections with mud, others rocky, others sandy and without shade; Sometimes it may be necessary to use your hands for support and balance. The altitude is above 4,000 meters (≈13,000 ft) with a maximum of 5,212 meters (≈17,000 ft). The luggage will be carried by mules, only the daily equipment will be carried.
Associated routes: Nevado del Tolima Summit, Santa Isabel Summit.
We hope this information is useful. If you have concerns or questions about a particular tour or wouild like more advice about which is the best route for you, please write to us at [email protected]
Keep hiking, keep living